By David Fong
Regional Sports Editor
MIAMI COUNTY — Matt Burgbacher could have saved the Greater Western Ohio Conference a lot of money on engraving costs.
Were it up to the Troy football coach, the names on all the plaques his players, along with himself, earned in the GWOC postseason awards voting simply could have read, “Team,” as opposed to individual teams.
“We are proud of what we accomplished this year and the individual awards we won, but we did it as a team,” Burgbacher said. “Nobody does it alone, and I think any one of our players who has earned any kind of honor would be the first one to tell you that. They can’t do what they do without their teammates. The same goes for me. I can’t do what I do without the help of my coaching staff and the kids on this team.
“Individual awards are great and well-deserved, but ultimately this is still a team game. All season long, we kept saying, ‘Put we before me.’ When you are able to do that, some pretty special things can happen — and some pretty special things happened for this team this season.”
Troy did manage to clean up in the GWOC award voting, as senior running back Jaydon Culp-Bishop was named GWOC American North Offensive Player of the Year, senior outside linebacker Sam Jackson was named GWOC American North Defensive Player of the Year and Burgbacher was named GWOC American North Coach of the Year.
Culp-Bishop finished the season with 281 carries for 2,457 yards — the second-best single-season rushing total in school history — and 38 touchdowns. He also returned seven kickoffs for 223 yards and two touchdowns. His 40 total touchdowns in a season is third in school history.
Jackson finished the season with 168 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, 13 quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, five passes knocked down and on special teams, had five tackles inside the 20 on kickoffs.
Burgbacher led the Trojans to their third-straight outright GWOC North title and third playoff appearance in a row. The Trojans are 15-0 in GWOC North play the last three seasons.
Here’s a look at all the players honored for each of the three Miami County teams in the GWOC North:
Culp-Bishop and senior inside linebacker Blake Burton both earned All-GWOC honors, which names the top players in all four of the GWOC’s Divisions.
Joining Culp-Bishop, Burton and Jackson on the GWOC North first team were: senior defensive back Kobe Feltner, senior offensive lineman Nathan Garber, senior defensive lineman Garrett Jones, senior H-back Spencer Klopfenstein and senior inside linebacker Shane Shoop.
Senior offensive guard Marshall Brueckman, senior outside linebacker Zach Collett, junior center Riley Hubbard, senior defensive back Jacob Shoop, junior quarterback Brayden Siler and junior defensive back Weston Smith all were named to the second team.
Junior kicker Ben Sauls was named All-GWOC and All-GWOC North first team.
Joining Sauls on the first team were senior running back Josh Burritt, senior linebacker Mason Gostomsky, senior offensive lineman Grany Heatherly and senior defensive back Jackson Yeager.
Senior running back Ben Ambos, junior running back Cade Beam, senior defensive back Brad Detwiller, senior wide receiver Jackson Martin and senior defensive lineman Josh Walland were named to the second team.
Senior offensive lineman Caden Clark, sophomore linebacker Coron Coleman, senior quarterback Mick Karn, junior linebacker Makeegan Kuhn, sophomore defensive lineman Jerrell Lewis, senior defensive lineman Brennan Toopes and senior wide receiver Owen Toopes were named to the GWOC North first team.
Senior offensive lineman Zayne Arbogast, junior linebacker Matt Blankenship, junior offensive lineman Riley Hill, sophomore defensive lineman Lance Reaves and senior defensive lineman Grant Toopes were named to the second team.
Contact David Fong at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong